An Article from Aaron's Article ArchiveMathematically, Trouble is Coming (What, Live Within My Means?)
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Mathematically, Trouble is Coming (What, Live Within My Means?)
Saturday, 06 August 2011 12:37 PM MDT
The U.S. is speeding rapidly towards a giant cliff, national bankruptcy. It's a problem for all of us here, we all know it's coming, and blaming this group or that is really irrelevant. (I personally think both of the two big parties have made choices that have led here and pointed us on this disastrous path.)
Dave Ramsey puts the current national debt in perspective very well:
So very often I hear someone say that the solution is for some particular group or demographic to "pay their fair share". I too agree in fairness. But I will never ask you to pay what I am not willing to pay myself. So I have to ask of those who want Joe Demographic to pay his fair share, will you, the asker, also voluntarily pay the exact same percentage on April 15th this coming year? If not, I'm sorry, your "fair share" doesn't sound very fair to me, and instead sounds rather hypocritical.
It is very easy to spend someone else's money. That's part of why it has been easy for past leaders of the various political parties to get us into this trouble. And it's very easy to feel good doing it (spending money), particularly if it's for a good cause. That's why it's such a dangerous and slippery slope, granting our government the power to tax us. With that great power comes immense responsibility. And our leadership over many, many years, as evidenced by the predicament we're currently in, has failed in this responsibility.
I support a constitutional balanced budget amendment. I want any such amendment to include provisions that require a super-majority to raise taxes/fees, and a simple majority to lower taxes/fees. Why such a hard nosed stance? Because if the "good cause" that our elected officials believe in is truly so very good for us as a nation, there should be broad agreement, more than even a simple majority. And if some small minority believe the "good" is not worth forcibly taking money from those to whom it belongs in the name of this public good is in fact NOT good, not worth it, if that minority is significant enough to prevent a super-majority vote, I firmly believe that, even if I personally support the "good cause" and personally think that the public should support it, we the people as a government, should not force someone else to go along with us. Hence the super-majority requirement.
This is going to hurt. Fixing the problem. Like an addict, we will go through withdrawal. But in the long run, we will come out stronger.
And can you imagine, if we cut spending from the $75,000 per year (listen to Dave Ramsey's aforementioned national debt explanation to know what I'm talking about) down to $58,000 per year and live within our means, eventually we WILL pay off the debt, suddenly freeing up over $10,000 additional per year that now we CAN spend in those places we the people (via elected officials) deem appropriate. Or even cut taxes if we so choose so that those whose money we are taking by force of law can keep more of it and spend it as they choose. What a blessing that will be in the future, to be out of debt!
I think that about sums up my personal beliefs.